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Pre-printed Ketuba


Rabbi David Sperling

Tevet 15, 5780
Hi, I really enjoyed the dinim of Ketuba by הרב אבישי נתן מייטליס. I wanted to know if there are any poskim who rule that it is better to fill in the names, by hand. Or if it is ok to also have all the peratim - the date, place and names, pre-printed, and to just leave v’kinyana and the place for the signing of the Eidim? Many sites offer pre-printed Ketubot with that option. Thank you
Shalom, Thank you for your question. In the work Ha-Neshuin KeHilchatah (Rav B Adler, hebrew), (chapter 11, 211) he writes “There are those that refrain from using printed ketubot, but rather write out the entire ketubah by hand – but according to the halacha, there is no preference of a hand-written one over a printed one, because one does not need to write a ketubah “leshma” (with intention) (see Igrot Moshe 1, 178). The halacha has already been decided that a scribe may prepare forms in advance that they should be ready for him, as long as he leave the place for the date blank (to be filled in when he uses the form). However, it is correct not to print on the ketubah form the location, the monetary amount, nor any part of the date (such as 57...), so as to follow the rulings of those who are strict and say that the scribe must leave these details blank. However, those who print ketubot which include the location, the sum of money and part of the date, have authorities on whom to rely.” It would seem to me that the type of ketubah you are asking about is especially printed on request for each wedding (something unheard of when the book we quoted above was written). In such a case it appears no different than the Rabbi filling in the details by pen, and does not appear to be a problem at all, even according to the strict opinion we quoted above – as opposed to pre-printed ketubah forms which the quote above is talking about. However, when it comes to running a wedding, the final word is always with the officiating Rabbi – and one should always get his approval for any changes one might want to make in their wedding service, especially when it comes to the ketubah. Anyone wanting to use there own special ketubah for their wedding – be it printed or hand written – needs to get it approved by the Rabbi who will preform the wedding. (I write this especially as I have seen too many times when the Rabbi had to refuse to use a beautiful hand written and designed ketubah, which had been written especially and at great expense, because it was not the version of their community, or had other problems with it. As you can imagine, this caused much pain, that could have been avoided if only the couple had asked the Rabbi beforehand). Blessings.
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